AMC introduces new, premium theater auditoriums

posted by HowardBHaas on March 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm

AMC is rolling out its ETX Format in theaters with a combination of packaged amenities.

AMC Theaters has announced a new way for movie goers to experience films on the big screen with the AMC Enhanced Theatre Experience (ETX).

This new movie-going experience will have:
– 20% larger screens
– An upgraded sound system
– 3D technology
– Digital projection
– 12 audio channels with 50,000 watts of power

ETX will debut in the United States on March 5th at the AMC Theatre at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort.

Read more in Disney Dreaming.

Comments (12)

John Fink
John Fink on March 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I experienced it during the Toronto International Film Festival at another location where AMC couldn’t put in an IMAX due to another exhibitor (Cineplex/Famous Players) having those rights. It was useless especially since the screen is large, sure but the picture doesn’t fill up the entire screen (so proper masking goes out the window) and the entire complex is digital anyway at Dundas & Younge. I have been to AMC Pleasure Island – do we know which screen is getting a conversion at Pleasure Island? Theaters 1 and 2 are huge theaters with balconies, I don’t know if they could have ETX presentations in those theaters since a large screen might create a poor sightline for the balcony. Anyway, this like mini-IMAX and Cinemark’s format seems like a scam. Sure the screen is larger but is the projector throw? One would think it would be smaller since your screen is closer to the audience.

At Dundas & Younge it did nothing, then again I was seeing a low budget indie shot on digital video.

rivest266 on March 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm

It started on May 5th, 2009 with Star Trek at Yonge & Dundas 24

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on March 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm

It’s IMAX-Lite branded under AMC’s banner so they no longer have to pay IMAX licensing fees.

For those who don’t know, all 35MM widescreen (2:35:1) films converted to IMAX (or any other large screen format) ALL run in the dead center of the screen. The screen is never filled. The only films that stand a chance of fitting the entire IMAX/Large Format screen are either films shot in 1:85:1 or shot with IMAX cameras like action scenes in The Dark Knight & Transformers 2.

CSWalczak on March 19, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I really do not see much similarity to the classic roadshow presentations of the 1950s and 1960s; the screen is big, apparently the sound is powerful, and the admission may be pricier (but so is the admission cost of most 3-D presentations today). To me “roadshow” implies an exclusive engagement of an epic or special event film in a city (preferably with an overture, intermission, and exit music), 70mm, Todd-AO, or Cinerama, reserved seats, souvenir books, etc.) I don’t think the public rejected the concept of roadshow as much as it rejected paying roadshow prices for films not worthy of that prestige level of presentation. There were other factors that led to its demise as such as changes in the way films came to be showcased at multiple locations within a city, the extra costs to exhibitors (box office personnel and other costs of handling hard tickets), and the fact that some of these films, due to their length, limited the number of daily showings.

Cliffs on March 20, 2010 at 4:46 am

How about an ‘Enhanced Theater Experience’ where people in the audience don’t talk or text and generally know how to be civilized and behaved. AMC theaters seem to be the worst at attracting a courteous moviegoer. That would be worth paying extra for.

limitx15 on March 21, 2010 at 6:33 am

I am looking for a movie theater with two screens or one for lease in Newport beach(California)currently in operation or not, is ok for me. Thank you.

CTCrouch on March 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm

If AMC markets this concept properly, which I’m sure they will, it will likely be very successful. Avoiding the IMAX moniker not only saves AMC licensing fees annd misc. expenses, but also exracts the issue of people comparing the experience to “classic IMAX” (i.e. you won’t be hearing complaints that it’s not what they are used to seeing with the brand).

In time, I doubt that most movie goers will even note the differences or shortcommings of these streamlined/“IMAX lite” auditoriums. As this scaled down offering becomes the new standard, people will forget about what IMAX used to mean/be. It’s amazing how short the public’s collective memory can be.

MovieTix86 on March 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm

AMC Press Release: View link

According to the press release, this ETX auditorium appears to be using a 2K projector instead of the 4K projector used at Yonge & Dundas in Toronto. Auditorium 1 at AMC Pleasure Island was retrofitted with ETX.

I’m a bit surprised that IMAX has no issues with AMC ETX, since it is similar to Cinemark’s XD auditoriums.

John Fink
John Fink on March 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

I’m guessing Aud 1 at AMC PI was probably rejected due to having a balcony. Still I don’t get the concept if putting in a bigger screen if the actual size of the picture is going to remain the same. EXT and XD are stupid, I like how the Cinemark XD in San Francisco is at a theater that regularally shows art pictures – they were offering Precious in XD at one point – pay an upgrade fee to see a film that doesn’t really require the immersive experience of say Transformers. My guess is the people that did were the unlucky ones that showed up to see the 9:30 show without knowing they were being conned into paying extra, I’ve seen people do that at Cinema De Lux, they buy tickets for a director’s hall online because they want to see it at that time, not because they want a reserved seat.

KJB2012 on March 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Although there were many reasons for the demise of the “roadshow” format in the early 70s, I would say the major one was quality.
An “event” film should an EVENT, like “Ben-Hur” or “West Side Story”. However when third rate productions like “Battle of Bulge”, “The Song of Norway” or “Custer of the West” went out as roadshows, the public got a bad taste in its collective mouth for the roadshow concept.
I believe the success of “Avater” in 3D shows that the public will pay top dollar or Euro for a special film. But the film has to be special, not just the format or special effects.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on March 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Attention all LA area folks:

AMC snuck in an ETX installation at their Burbank 16 location on the weekend of 3/26. AND…they kept the IMAX as well. 2 large format theatre experiences under one roof.

I took a peek inside the ETX auditorium on 3/27…that screen is HUGE!

TLSLOEWS on April 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

O.K. lets hope it works.

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